If you are a parent of a teenager, you know that your child is being bombarded with various messages everyday. Some you’re fine with. Some you wish would just go away.
Among the messages your teen receives are pieces of advice about money. Certainly there are some worth listening to. But there are many, often indirect, messages that are damaging in both the short-term and long-term financial futures of your teenager. And it is up to you, their parent, to help them understand which advice is good and which can be harmful. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Here are eight pieces of bad money advice your teen will believe unless you teach them otherwise:
- Money is easy to get. There is no need to work hard for it. Forget that it took your parents years of hard work to get where they are. It will be different for you.
- There is no need to wait. Buy now. Immediate gratification is the way to go. If you want it, get it. You will figure out all of the money stuff later.
- Don’t worry about the future. Don’t set aside money. What difference is a few thousand dollars in a Roth IRA going to make anyway? You are just a teenager. Saving is for adults.
- Wealth, in and of itself, is a worthy pursuit. Your life should be about making as much money as possible and enjoying all the spoils that come along with it. Making a difference? Purpose? You are your purpose.
- Live like you are rich. Even if you haven’t made your fortune yet, go ahead and live like you have. Eventually, your earning will catch up with your lifestyle, right?
- If you want to be happy, make more money. All of the celebrities look like they are having a great time. Do you know why? They are rich. And if you want to be happy like them, you need to be wealthy as well.
- You should be famous too. Don’t waste you time studying and developing skills that could help you in a realistic career. You won’t need them when your fans are screaming and the cameras are flashing. Try to acquire fame. It’s just within reach.
- There are no consequences for bad financial decisions. As soon as you can, get a credit card and max it out. Don’t save. Don’t fear debt. What’s the worst that could happen?
Help your teen by giving them trustworthy teachings about money. And ten years from now, when they find themselves financially healthy while their peers are reeling from a series of bad money decisions, they will thank you.